If I were Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, I’d take the Plaxico Burress deal off the table right now. Why? Because his attorney agreed to the plea, then went all over TV and radio saying his client got corn-holed.
If I were the D.A., I’d explain how the law dictates punishment not just to make the criminal pay but to deter others from even thinking of doing the same thing. Then I’d suggest he begin prepping for trial.
If two years in a real prison isn’t a deterrent (remember: only the feds have “country clubs”), that’s because Burress’s lawyer has demonized the justice system and those entrusted with upholding it. Not a good message to be putting out there.
Funny how Burress ended up with the deal originally offered, while Morgenthau saved taxpayers the expense of a trial while getting this mess behind everyone. And he did it after first trying to work out an agreement that would’ve avoided an indictment. Nothing in the statutes compelled or required the prosecutor to even offer Burress wiggle room. But Burress’s lawyer bitched, anyway. Not fair, he said. If Plax were Joe Shmoe, he wouldn’t be facing hard time.
Counselor, please. Your client carried an unregistered LOADED handgun across state lines into a public gathering space — and it went off. What if he’d shot someone else? No one says much about it, but the bullet nearly hit a doorman.
What’s more, teammate Antonio Pierce got involved, trying to save Burress’s skin. Someone else stashed the gun. A local hospital stitched him up without saying a word. With one stupid, selfish act, Burress nearly took down an entire group of people.
Plax was looking at a mandatory three and a half year minimum if convicted at a trial. Why? Because people need to stop toting around guns as if the West Side is the Wild West. It’s what gets innocents killed.
This isn’t “an American tragedy,” as the Giants’ John Mara called it. It’s not “a mistake in judgment that never ever in his life he intended to commit,” as his lawyer, Benjamin Brafman said.
You take a test to get your driver’s license. You have to know, and follow, the rules of the road to keep the privilege. Same for owning a gun. Laws prohibit concealing firearms, with special exceptions, for a good reason. And they shouldn’t be taken into crowds, where their mere presence immediately ramps up the odds that someone will get hurt.
And for Christ’s sake, they shouldn’t be recklessly tucked into the waistband of your sweatpants, genius.
If you need to tote an unregistered gun across state lines into a nightclub because you’re afraid someone could mug you, then start frequenting better joints. Or hire a bodyguard who’s licensed to carry.
I’ve been a Giants fan all my life. I appreciate Burress earning his fat paycheck by helping Big Blue beat up on the Green Bay Packers secondary (he literally smacked them around) and then catching the winning pass in the team’s third Super Bowl win ever.
Many football fans have never had that sweet taste of rooting for the only team to win its last game. But with the sweet, we had to swallow Plax oil. Anyone could see he deluded himself into believing rules were for other people. But sleeping during meetings is one thing. Putting lives in jeopardy for no good reason is another.
Instead of urging his client to admit how dangerous his actions were, how he foolishly and selfishly put other people at risk — while exposing his friends to possible criminal charges themselves — Burress’s star-flocker lawyer gripes about the unfairness of it all.
What if Brafman’s son or daughter or other relative were at that club and a bullet from Burress’s gun struck one of them? Would Brafman call the law unfair? Or would he devote every fiber of his being to putting this felon away for as long as he could?
I, for one, won’t be baking Plax a cake with a file in it.
Do the crime, do the time. Be a man. Shut up, already.
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